The festival was founded in 1997 by directors Juraj Deák and Radovan Lipus and dramaturges Marek Pivovar and Alice Taussiková. In the very beginning, the original name of the festival was Ostravian Theatres Festival, and since 1999 it has been held under the name Festival of Drama Theatres Ostrava. The name OST-RA-VAR was used for the first time in 2000. The event is organized by the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre (NDM) in cooperation with the Arena Chamber Theatre, the Petr Bezruč Theatre, the Mír Theatre and other close entities (Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava, Cooltour Cultural Center, Absinth Club Les etc.). Until 2012, the Puppet Theatre Ostrava also regularly participated the OST-RA-VAR festival, but it decided to leave in 2013.
The Festival of Ostravian Drama Theatres creates space for a critical reflection of contemporary theatre. It is aimed at Czech, Slovak and Polish theatre teachers, critics and theoreticians, cultural editors and theatre professionals, as well as for students of theatre schools (studying both practical and theoretical field of study) – therefore it is for all the people for whom theatre is their main job or field of study.  The purpose of OST-RA-VAR festival is to offer in several days a characteristic cross section of Ostravian professional drama ensembles’ productions created that year (approximately 14–16 performances). The essential part of the festival is also created by the analytical seminars where the preformed productions are at first analyzed, and then these critical analyses make an input to the subsequent discussions between all participants. It is the only festival of its kind in the Czech Republic that has been ranked among renowned domestic theatrical events.
All information about each edition, including photos, press releases, programme and newsletters (if available), may be found at the Czech version of our website.